DOUGLAS — The Chicago Police Department Tuesday honored dozens of its officers for the kind of extraordinary acts that don’t always make the headlines.
During a ceremony Tuesday morning, Supt. Garry McCarthy and other police leadership honored rank-and-file officers for everything from escorting residents out of a burning building to nabbing a suspect in the shooting of a child and catching a guy with a garbage bag full of marijuana.
Some officers were lauded for stopping a knife-wielding slasher on the CTA and rescuing a missing teen who had fallen prey to pimps.
Others were recognized for using Facebook to catch suspects and connecting the dots on a string of neighborhood robberies.
Before officers and their families strode across the stage to shake hands with department heads and get a photo with McCarthy, the superintendent made a renewed call for tighter gun laws and sentencing.
McCarthy said the city’s perennial gun violence could be best addressed with practical gun laws.
A “certainty of punishment” may make gunmen think twice if they know what kind of time they could be doing for crimes, he said.
He also called for a “truth in sentencing” that would ensure convicted criminals serve 85 percent of their sentences and aren’t released early.
Before recognizing the officers who are doing their part to keep guns off the streets, McCarthy said the city's “historical problem” cannot be stanched by arresting gangbangers and taking guns off the street.
“We’re drinking from a fire hose,” he said. “And that’s got to change.”